All COVID vaccines in Canada just got new names and they’re so weird


Vaccine names have never really been a hot topic in Canada, because, for example, why would they be? All that most people care about is that their inoculations are safe, available, and effective.

After all, there isn’t much to say. It’s not like all vaccines have splashy nicknames like “SpikeVax”, or confusing jibberish labels with old-fashioned British butler name vibes like “Comirnaty” or anything.

Except it’s like this – exactly, like this, thanks to the formal authorization from Health Canada to change the name of the COVID-19 vaccines produced by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca.

The federal government announced Thursday morning that in the future, the Pfizer vaccine will now be named Comirnaty. Moderna will now carry the brand name SpikeVax, and AstraZeneca will now be “Vaxzevria”.

People from across the country have been appearing on Twitter since news of this name change authorization was dropped, many to express disbelief that these names are real.

There are now thousands of really hilarious responses to the original Health Canada thread.

“Comirnaty” seems to get the most attention of the three, because like … what does that mean?

According to The Verge, the comirnaty is meant to be a coat of arms for the words community, immunity, COVID-19 and mRNA.

Twitter doesn’t pick up on what Pfizer files, however – most people seem to think that is pure gibberish.

Some say it sounds a bit like “commie” and no one knows how to pronounce it. If you lean heavily on the “i” and soften the “a”, it could theoretically sound like “Come here, naughty”.

SpikeVax, which looks like something you might find in a convenience store next to Monster Energy Drink, also generates a lot of buzz.

Moderna’s extreme sounding name is compared to that of a revival band riot grrl, a Pokemon starter, a superhero and a “A muscle stimulant the evil gang uses in a 1992 action movie straight to VHS C-movie, “among others.

And AstraZeneca’s Vaxzevria sounds to many like a character from a fantasy novel or a Russian femme fatale.

Jokes abound, but people also have serious concerns that the government is approving new names at this point, as many provinces struggle to get more people vaccinated.

“Why the hell would you allow vaccine confusion right now?” And who the hell thinks Vaxzevria, SpikeVax or Comirnaty are good brands? ” a Twitter user asked. “Vaxzevria and Comirnaty sound like names for vaccine side effects.”

In the spirit of calling things by what we know them as, many Toronto residents are now committing to ‘SkyDome’ vaccine names – as in, call them as we’ve always called them, from the the same way most people still refer to Rogers Center as the SkyDome.

The iconic retractable roof stadium was renamed after it was purchased by Rogers Communications in 2005.

“No fucking way,” joked a local in response to Health Canada’s tweet. “Good Canadians will always call those SkyDome, Simpsons, and MuchMusic, thank you very much.”

Although they will have new brand names, Health Canada says there are no changes to the vaccines themselves.

“All COVID-19 vaccines authorized in Canada have been shown to be safe, effective and of high quality,” writes the Department of Health.

The only real difference for consumers now is telling people if you are part of the SpikeVax, Comirnaty or Vaxzevria team. If you have a mix of plans, you can choose something like “I’m a SpixeVax with Cominarty on the rise”, or the simple “I have a mix of Moderna and Pfizer”.


About Frank Torres

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